Airlock: A blockage in a water pipe caused by a trapped bubble of air.
Back-to-wall: A toilet or bidet where the pan is fitted directly to the wall, with the pipework or cistern concealed behind a wall.
Bar: The unit that water pressure is measured in.
Bleed Valve: A valve that releases air from the central heating system, or removes liquid from a tank or tube. Most commonly found on household radiators.
Boiler: An enclosed vessel in which water or other fluid is heated, used to heat water in a home and provide heating via radiators.
Bottle Trap: A unit which sits under a basin and holds water, as a barrier to gasses coming back through the pipes.
Cap: To close off an electrical or plumbing system.
Chase: A trench cut into plaster or masonry to make space for electrical cabling or pipework.
Cistern: A tank used for holding water, for example to supply taps or a toilet.
Close-coupled WC: A toilet where the cistern sits directly behind the pan, usually controlled with a button flush.
Flow Rate: The volume of water delivered to a tap, measured in either litres per minute (l/m) or litres per second (l/s).
Flue: A duct or pipe for used within a chimney to direct heat and smoke upwards from the stove or fireplace.
Grey Water: The waste water from all domestic use, excluding toilet waste water.
Hard Water: Water that has a high concentration of ions such as calcium and magnesium, and leaves behind more mineral deposits such as limescale.
Isolating Valve: A valve which shuts off water to a particular room or outlet.
Main Water Valve: Also known as main shutoff valve; The central water valve that prevents water from going into a house’s plumbing.
Soft Water: Water that has a low concentration of ions such as calcium and magnesium, and leaves behind fewer mineral deposits such as limescale.
Stopcock: A hand operated valve allowing water to flow in one direction, found where the water supply enters the house.
Supply Pipe: The pipe that carries mains water into the home, connected to a communication pipe which brings water from the mains and up to the property boundary. Responsibility for the pipe is split between the water company and the homeowner.
Tank: A closed container.
Trap: Also called a bottle trap, a unit which sits under a basin and holds water, as a barrier to gasses coming back through the pipes.
Vent Pipe: The pipe that leads outside, for the release of air or water from a hot water system.
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